Celebrating our families, generation to generation. Our families are with us to the end and are our legacy.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. Anonymous

Yesterday we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday in a restaurant. As a family, we haven’t been out to a restaurant in a long time. We debated which restaurant to go to but my mother-in-law made the final choice. There were nine of us and our four-month-old grandson. We worried about taking him to the restaurant. But, he was wonderful and our server oohed and aahed over him to the delight of his mother and the rest of us. He’s a beautiful baby but he’s ours and we are just a little biased. Another cute baby showed up at the restaurant with his parents. We had to know how old he was and were told he was six months old. He was also very good while his parents ate their dinner.

It is lovely when we can get together and celebrate milestones. We never know when it might be our last chance to celebrate with someone. We need to take advantage of these special moments in our lives while we can. It’s been a lovely year of celebrating for us. We have one more wedding to attend this fall, our friend’s daughter is getting married.

The circle of life continues and watching our younger generation take their place, getting married, and having babies, lets us know that we as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and society in general have done okay. We have challenges before us, every generation has its challenges, the generations before us will have their challenges but we hope they will meet those challenges and life will continue to improve for most of us.

My mother is not one who longed for the good old days. She and Dad grew up in tough times, the thirties, and then their generation went to war. I look back on the life I’ve been privileged to live. It has been a life of peace and plenty, full of opportunities, but often those opportunities weren’t recognized as opportunities when they presented themselves.

Even though we’ve lived through peace and plenty it doesn’t mean it has been an easy road. What does an easy road look like, and is an easy road what we really want? It seems to me what we’ve thought of as success has been just over the next hill, we’ve never quite attained what we would call success, and I am beginning to think that makes a great life.

The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories. Unknown

Working toward something more than actually attaining it may be where the real joy in life lies. How would I feel if I’ve written the best blog post I could ever write, written the best book, painted the best picture, or given the best speech? Mom and I were talking the other day and counting in our heads the number of her grandchildren, great and great, great-grandchildren. We came up with forty-seven.

Mom was visited by her great-granddaughter and her husband, son, and daughter. They had a lovely visit and the kids are old enough to remember visiting their great, great grandmother. Many of us don’t remember our grandmothers let alone great, and great, great grandmothers.

I saw a post on Facebook saying we are burying the people who kept families together. This has always been the case and the torch has been thrown to the next generation to keep the family together. We need to take up our responsibilities to keep our families together so that our children and grandchildren will continue this tradition. Many of our families are smaller now, but a couple of generations fill a restaurant, house, or backyard for a celebration. It doesn’t matter where we choose to do our celebration, only that we do.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings. Ann Landers

Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches. Wanda Hope Carter

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books. A special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.

Counting our blessings. We can be our own life coaches. Our attitude colors our life.

Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us. John Mitchell

This past weekend I moved my art studio from the basement to my son’s old room on the second floor. Moving is a big job even if it is only one room. In my small little room in the basement, I had two drafting tables, numerous bookshelves, and an L-shaped work surface. Now I have a U-shaped work surface, one more bookshelf and I’ll only bring up one drafting table, but it is a monstrosity.

I was thrilled to get this drafting table that moves to different angles easily but now I am painting 12 x 12 paintings for my children’s books and find it easier to do the painting on a flat surface. Do you really need the drafting table my husband asks? He knows it’s his back being put to work to move it. I need it if I paint on larger canvasses. So even if it sits without being used most of the time it will be making its way up the stairs to the new airy, windowed studio.

My husband sits at my new desk looking out the windows. “This should suit you perfectly you can keep an eye on everything.” Is he implying I am nosy? Having windows to look out of, a big comfy chair with one of the quilts Mom made me covering it, and room for a few more books makes me think I am about as happy with my studio as I could be. It isn’t a cool room in summer or a warm room in winter so there is that to deal with but I now have room for my grandson to visit me while I work.

We sat together and read books yesterday. He’s four months today and what a joy it is to be a grandma. Babies are a lot of work but being around him when he smiles, chatters like he’s talking to you, and shows with his whole body he’s happy to see you are truly wonderful. What a blessing to be a grandma and it is a blessing to have a grandma. He has two grandmas, two great grandmas, and two grandpas. On Sunday we will take one great grandma out for her 83rd birthday, and in September we are planning a trip to see his other great grandma (my mom) who will turn 98 this year. I just saw a picture of Mom with two of her great, great grandchildren that visited her this summer. Five generations are alive and healthy, we are truly blessed.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

Our attitude colors our lives, and we may not realize that we have more control of our attitude than we think. I watched a Ted Talk the other night while putting my new studio together. This young man is now a history teacher and found out his favorite teacher was retiring. He went to see him and the teacher recognized him instantly, gave him a big hug, and then said, “I’m surprised to see you still alive. You were the angriest grade six student I taught.”

This surprised the young man who acknowledged he’d been really angry, he never told us what was going on in his life then, but he said his father was listening to motivational tapes. His father was choosing his attitude, and this young man came around to believe that he could do that too. At the time he wished his father would turn off those tapes, but now he understands it was his father’s way of choosing a better attitude. He tells us we can be our own life coach; we can choose to be grateful which he says has turned his life around.

Yesterday I saw a young woman with tattoos on her face. I wondered what was going on in her life that made her choose to mark her face permanently. Life is hard, and it is much harder for some than others. But, perhaps we all have the choice to choose our attitude. Part of Mom’s health and longevity I attribute to her attitude. Years ago when I phoned Mom her opening line to whoever was on the phone was, “What can you tell me that is good.”

The star quilt she made now covers the big comfy chair and brings Mom into my studio. I’m sure she was well into her nineties when she made it. When you have the attitude that you will live till you die, be grateful for what you have, and look on the bright side you have a better life even when the times you lived through were hard as parts of Mom’s life were. She lived through the thirties, the war years, widowhood with two children and a brand new baby, some of us think we are going through tough times but most of us don’t know what really tough times are, and if we are lucky we never will.

Are we counting our blessings, and naming them one by one?

A positive attitude may not solve all our problems but that is the only option we have if we want to get out of problems. Subodh Gupta

A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. Patricia Neal

When the negative thoughts come – and they will; they come to all of us – it’s not enough to just not dwell on it… You’ve got to replace it with a positive thought. Joel Osteen

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

To subscribe, comment, and see archives or categories of posts click on the picture and scroll to the end.

Thank you to everyone that reads my books, and a special thank you to those that leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase an item I receive a small percentage of the sale through the Amazon affiliate program.